SharePoint Consulting

October 1, 2014


Using SharePoint as intranet to deliver a masterful SharePoint 2013 intranet is Microsoft's quickest developing piece of software lines ever. In 2010, 64% of firms that own SharePoint have deployed it company-wide with an alternate 22 percent utilizing it only at the department-level. Now that we are in the era of Sharepoint 2013 (if you are still on SharePoint 2010, then definitely upgrade to SharePoint 2013), we can expect such stellar growth to continue.


Regardless of this development, exploiting SharePoint's rich set of tools, features, and wealth is not a paltry undertaking and difficulties do exist. In this document, we talk about what difficulties may emerge in setting up a SharePoint 2013 intranet and how to overcome them to effectively arrange a good SharePoint deployment. It also provides direction on the best way to administer the sites you create.


What are the potential challenges of SharePoint as intranet? In the first place, a SharePoint 2013 portal is a long way from a niche type of product. Its abilities cover an immeasurable number of uses and it can be quite formidable to learn it all. Using Sharepoint to its fullest potential in all the areas it attempts to tackle will take professional guidance.


Note that SharePoint is not the kind of beast that can be simply introduced into the corporate ecosystem and then it will be instantly utilized -- definitely NOT a "build it and they will come" kind of product. Users need to be taught how to produce customizations to their sites and then the magic begins. This makes the product exceptionally pliant, and knowing how to shape it to give the required spark is truly an art form. Even choosing the right SharePoint 2013 templates can be laborious.


So many slip-ups and missteps have occurred with deploying SharePoint as intranet and businesses should be warned not to go into without professional help -- either and in-house resource or a SharePoint consulting company or even better, a turn-key solution would make all the difference in setting up your SharePoint 2013 intranet. Find one that is feature rich if you are going for a turn-key solution (check out this feature list). Not at all like other Microsoft products from the past, SharePoint specifically touches about every IT person imaginable and gets to be intertwined into their job roles. Yes, SharePoint is an engineering masterpiece, however it's additionally a business driver, and utilizing SharePoint to increase productivity all over the corporation is for sure something that has caught the eyes of many efficiency experts.


Considering SharePoint from a business point of view would require a look at return on investment. While SharePoint can yield great efficiencies within an organization, there are some unseen benefits that cannot be measured...like worker satisfaction. In any case, positive ROI is one of the most ideal approaches to get official backing from upper management.


Before Starting: Many attempts have been made to get SharePoint interest from the employee level to management...that is to say, grass-roots style. This is not the best approach. Get official backing first -- showing them overwhelmingly compelling evidence on the net will do the selling for you. Having upper management approval puts the most critical champions on your side. Administrators additionally help to shape the vision of the SharePoint venture. Given that Sharepoint is a long-term project and requires one or more SharePoint consultants, make sure this vision adjusts to the enterprises actual needs. Whether you decide to try SharePoint on a small scale (like in a single department or just one project team) or on a large scale, ensure that management has got your back! And always make you have a good Project Manager on hand to guide everyone's tasks.


We recommend a phased-approach to SharePoint deployment (as opposed to an upgrade to SharePoint 2013 -- click here). Start off with a nice intranet portal....there are many SharePoint 2013 demo that you can check out first. You might throw in an InfoPath form or two. After a few months, go for workflows and business app development. Keep incrementally adding more features. Keep training your employees from the beginning and all the way through. We recommend checking out the many SharePoint 2013 templates out there to produce your SharePoint 2013 portal.


Successfully installing, deploying, and maintaining a SharePoint 2013 portal is not too difficult (although guidance is suggested from a reputable SharePoint consulting company)....however, when it comes to setting it in such a way that it succeeds in your organization, well that's an art and a science that requires accomplished experts. These experts can show you great intranet examples (well, if they don't, then you might want to turn the other way). The expectation is not to simply outsource the venture, yet to expand the inner group of individuals who are dealing with the back-end in your organization. Training, training, training! And keep in mind that not all SharePoint consultants are created equal.


Collaborating with a SharePoint consulting company like SharePoint Implemented for example is definitely going to give you the most bang for your buck. We follow demonstrated execution techniques, best practices, and always deliver high quality results and we have great intranet examples to choose from (click here for a demo).


When it comes to an upgrade to SharePoint 2013, also get professional guidance from a good SharePoint consulting company that is highly established in its reputation and make sure they always provide you with a SharePoint 2013 demo. If they say, sorry you have to purchase something before even seeing the demo, then say, I'm sorry, we cannot do business with you without a SharePoint 2013 demo. Always do this before spending anything on your SharePoint 2013 portal. And we recommend Googling for intranet examples and SharePoint consultants.



Best SharePoint Portal

October 20, 2014


How do you manage and adapt your SharePoint infrastructure to have the best SharePoint portal on the corporate neighborhood? Whether you own a SharePoint 2010 portal or a SharePoint 2013 portal, there are 3 ways to deal with this. You could increase performance, enforce your governance rules, and you can also put your purchased SharePoint web parts and templates to greater use.


A SharePoint Intranet portal is great for communication and collaboration and it has brought about great advances in worker efficiency and accountability. The best SharePoint portal that is within many companies that were polled, are reporting 70% company-wide usage (adoption). Many of the employees who use a SharePoint 2010 portal find it great for bridging isolated data systems. Users of a SharePoint 2013 portal love that business processes can be done in new ways, like InfoPath forms and SharePoint workflows.


There are so many project and team sites that are popping up in organizations left and right and this does bring about a new headache for IT personnel -- how to manage all of this information on your SharePoint Intranet portal! So, SharePoint becomes a victim of its own success. Or is "victim" the right word -- no! It actually can be managed. When done correctly, the whole SharePoint portal can be tamed and processes streamlined. The following is how to do it to maintain your rank as owner of the best SharePoint portal:


Sometimes data gets duplicated all over the place in useless places. What's great is the process of de-duplication and consolidation and when done all over the place in a SharePoint Intranet portal, it can create a great efficiency booster.


Another item to note is the governance policies should be consistent across the board within your SharePoint 2013 portal or SharePoint 2010 portal, like for retention and disposal of documents. Also, with eDiscovery, you can keep access to documents easy which is helpful in litigation times. You can also give self-service access to your employees -- how much valuable time and money would it save if employees didn't bug the HR department anymore for the time-off sheet or the accounting department for the expense report.


One area where a SharePoint portal is great is in the scanning of paper. Hospitals themselves typically have hundreds of pages per patient. Imagine the rooms full of boxes of paper for patients...not needed anymore! Electronic storage is a great new tool for employees -- eliminates storage costs for physical paper, no more shipping costs, and no more shredding costs. IT costs go up, but this increase pales in comparison to the drop in cost for managing paper. That's how a SharePoint portal is done right!


To see an example of a great SharePoint Intranet portal in action, click here. And contact us here.




Getting SharePoint 2013 Branding Done

October 20, 2014


How do you get SharePoint 2013 branding done? Well, in the past (i.e., SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2007), it was a difficult, laborious endeavor. But in SharePoint 2013 branding, it's become easier. There are many changes that make life easier and watch out...the new improved SharePoint user interface is making a big splash.


First there's the new Design Manager program which is a great new SharePoint branding tool which converts HTML to a Master Page. This is the new way to accomplish branding SharePoint. However, before you count your blessings, get that there's still quite a bit of work left to do, but at least a good chunk of it is eliminated. Even a little snippets gallery is present within Design Manager in case your coding skills are not at the level of guru! And whether you are dealing with SharePoint Online branding or on premise, it's all doable.


Everything in SharePoint 2013 regarding SharePoint branding works with HTML5 and of course CSS3. Naturally, a capable browser is required. That's the only way to see the branding SharePoint. Almost, XSLT has gone the way of the dodo bird...well, not quite extinct yet, but on its way out. You'll be using Display Templates, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This is quite a step up from SharePoint 2010 branding.


Device Channels is a great SharePoint branding tool that will let you tell SharePoint Online branding (or on-premise) which Master Page to apply to different devices that are accessing the page -- tablet, mobile, PC, etc.


A composed look in SharePoint 2013 branding is akin to a theme...it's basically a different look applied to a master page...so you don't have to deal with several Master Pages as you did in past versions of SharePoint.


Visual Studio is of course Microsoft's workhorse for creating the ultimate custom solutions -- it's the greatest SharePoint branding tool and it's still used extensively by hardcore programmers. This and SharePoint Designer is basically the same as it was in SharePoint 2010...one exception, Design View is gone. SharePoint branding is quite different of course with regards to SharePoint 2010 branding.


Of course, if you don't want to do any coding, then you can of course just choose from one of 40 composed looks (branding SharePoint) that come with SharePoint 2013. Go to the gear icon/Site Settings/Change the Look. This will alter the look for the current site collection. While you change the look, you have options to alter the color scheme, site layout, and fonts. And of course, there is overlap with concepts in SharePoint 2010 branding but so much cleaner!


If you liked this reading, then you can check out an example of SharePoint Online branding (actually the SharePoint branding on this site is for an on-premise version and if you'd like it created for Office 365, please ask us). Click here for that. And if you want to read more about this solution, click here. Ask us for a demo or call or email us for a personalized demo or just to ask a few questions. Our contact page is here.





Enforce Regular Policies across the SharePoint Intranet

October 21, 2014


This article about SharePoint Intranet 2010 and SharePoint 2013 Intranet truly will make sure you are keeping up with regulatory and corporate governance standards in your SharePoint Intranet Sites. Develop strong retention as well as disposition guidelines against the potential risk of data damage or unintended removal. All of us realize something relating to policy-based resources and info management, as well as the benefit organizations can easily receive from putting the ideal guidelines in place — particularly, selection in addition to flexibility with regard to how you regulate as well as place information; control to effectively ensure compliance, as well as effectiveness in addition to leverage to remove more value from your desired information for competitive benefit for your SharePoint As Intranet.


Keep a Steady State of Legal action Readiness of the SharePoint Intranet: This will cut down the expenses and certainly time of Discovery to protect against SharePoint as well as additional data origins. You’ll also diminish threat and basically eliminate company exposure connected with unmanaged content material in your SharePoint Intranet Sites.


Supply Automated Compliance with zero Influence on Consumers: Your goal would be to ensure a noticeable consumer experience by letting self-service access to all of the data that consumers really need within the familiar SharePoint interface. Following these will additionally scale down admin expenses.

Provide Central Information Solutions in the SharePoint Intranet: This can include guidelines for permanent retention and certainly archiving for SharePoint content, by allowing SharePoint as well as non-SharePoint users to access and certainly share physical in addition to digital data in your SharePoint Intranet 2010 and SharePoint 2013 Intranet systems.


Raise affectivity of administrating in addition to obtaining paper based resources and info: Scanning docs in electronic image files significantly lowers paper management expenditures, take away shipment expenses in SharePoint As Intranet which allows electronic storage just within SharePoint. Organizations are able to also lessen processing time simply by automating document as well as data capture in addition to allowing integration along with SharePoint functions.


Global clients who use SharePoint Intranet Sites: They have discovered big benefit in solutions for intelligent enterprise capture within their SharePoint Intranet 2010 and SharePoint 2013 Intranet systems. All of these options cut down storing and basically shipping paper expenses, enhanced productiveness simply by decreasing manual procedure handling as well as maximizing processing speed, in addition to give much stronger compliance through better controls around paper versus your SharePoint As Intranet .


With so many SharePoint consulting companies to choose from, make sure that you choose one that not only offers you customizations but has a turn-solution handy as well. Here's one such turn-key solution: http://spe13.sharepointimplemented.com. Contact us for more details here.







Intranet Templates

October 21, 2014


What's under the hood of all of the cool SharePoint web parts on all those great Intranet Templates out there? You get one guess and your hint is it's like an atomic unit. Before we tell you the answer, consider that, SharePoint 2010 Template does a million things and it's hard to conceive that there could even be 1 thing at the core. Looking at the things a SharePoint Intranet Template can do, what comes to mind is insurance companies, law firms, and hospitals keeping track of millions of documents in SharePoint. What about using workflows to manage a chain of people that will approve or reject a particular expense report and finally upon approval by the last person in the chain, it ends up automatically in your accounting systems. Or what about an ordinary calendar application for your SharePoint Templates? Well, the atomic unit of all of these things is the ordinary SharePoint list! SharePoint lists in a well-designed Intranet Template are powerful because they are just database tables. It’s the power of a database in the hands of ordinary users!


Extend as well as Improve your Intranet Templates by Various other Capabilities as well as Solutions for your SharePoint 2010 Intranet: We have spotted several groups extend the content administration attributes of SharePoint simply by letting both SharePoint in addition to non-SharePoint consumers to actually get access to and share actual physical in addition to electronic content material on their Intranet Template.


SharePoint Templates are in fact sweeping through establishments with their highly functional Intranet Templates on the SharePoint 2010 Intranet platform, serving just like a powerful mechanism for the advantages and benefits of enterprise content management that include not only administrating content material on your SharePoint 2010 Template, but in addition collaboration as well as process automation. Many a times, it has pushed organizations to significantly take into consideration leveraging SharePoint 2010 Intranet just like the initial step. For other type of organizations that use SharePoint 2010 Template, it really has been more about exactly how SharePoint must coexist with present systems. While SharePoint has introduced ECM to the people in general in an uncomplicated and easy-to-deploy approach, one main question that in fact looms large is: How should I get my paper inside SharePoint to make sure that I can change it from a legal responsibility into a direct business reward? To answer this inquiry needs cautious consideration. Whatever you decide, make sure that your SharePoint Templates are functional and look great.


With so many SharePoint consulting companies to choose from, make sure that you choose one that not only offers you customizations but has a turn-solution handy as well. Here's one such turn-key solution: http://spe13.sharepointimplemented.com. Contact us for more details here.







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